are usually heralded as the creator of "doom metal", yet Ozzy
and company certainly had their allies early on, who also contributed to the cause -- especially Virginia's own Pentagram
. Despite being long admired by the metal underground, Pentagram never recorded for a major label, and never recorded a full-length release during their peak '70s period. But the good folks at Relapse assembled a fine compilation, First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection
, in 2002, and four years later issued a follow-up double-disc set, First Daze Here Too: The Vintage Collection
. All of the material on First Daze Here Too
comes from the '70s -- the seven-track first disc focuses on demos, rehearsals, and a recording session circa 1974 and 1976, while the 15-track second disc is comprised strictly of rehearsal tapes from 1972 and 1974. Although nothing here scales the same heights as say, "Iron Man" or "Sweet Leaf," there are plenty of riff-heavy nuggets that will surely appeal to fans of retro metal, including "When the Screams Come" and "Much Too Young to Know." That said, several tracks come close to "bar band territory," especially "Teaser" and a cover of the Stones
' "Under My Thumb." With only odds and ends left behind by the band, First Daze Here Too: The Vintage Collection
is a solid follow-up purchase for bell-bottomed headbangers who bought the first set.